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Project SEARCH Clarkston

Project SEARCH students, teachers and district administrators

Preparing young people with significant disabilities for success in competitive integrated employment.

Project SEARCH is a nationwide initiative dedicated to providing young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities additional training and education in professional environments after finishing school. It is a nine-month, internship-style program for 18- to 26-year-olds, that aims to provide its students with skills to help them obtain competitive employment upon completion.

At McLaren Clarkston, students will work with staff in the emergency department, breast center, diagnostic imaging department, and physical therapy. They will assist in various responsibilities, including greeting and directing patients, office work, contacting patients about appointment reminders, rounding on patients for comfort, and other duties.

Our participants are exposed to a variety of career paths and can immerse themselves in these workplaces in order to become familiar with them. Department managers at the internship sites work with the dedicated Project SEARCH special education teacher, support staff, and job coaches to provide guidance, accommodations, and support to improve the student on-site job performance. Students receive continual feedback from the internship manager, co-workers, and Project SEARCH staff, completing each day with group reflection, problem-solving, planning, and journaling their key learnings.

Project SEARCH started in 1996 at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to serve the facility’s employees with developmental disabilities, furthering their training with complex and systematic tasks. The Project SEARCH has since expanded nationwide, with more than 730 host sites in 48 states. You can learn more at​​​​​​​ .


"Not only do our students gain the training and experience needed for gainful employment, but they also open doors to a future brimming with excitement and opportunities. Our partnership with McLaren and Project SEARCH exemplifies the transformative power of collaboration between organizations, showcasing the vital importance of such partnerships in today's educational landscape."
- Dr. Shawn Ryan, Superintendent -

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